Coronavirus: Changes in state rules lead some daycare facilities to close

The state's order this week to close daycare centers unless the facility has a special pandemic child care license and has only six children in a room at a time has caused frustration for those businesses and their clients.

The state's order this week to close daycare centers unless the facility has a special pandemic child care license and have only six children in a room at a time has caused frustration for those businesses and their clients.

Mini University in Beavercreek on Wednesday joined other daycare businesses in closing its doors -- albeit temporarily.

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That decision is no good for Jameel and Erin Sinkfield, both of whom are part of the essential workforce at their jobs and until Wednesday had been counting on Mini University for their twin girls.

Staff members at Mini U. "were taking us thorugh this plan they had and were going to do curbside drop off, temperature checks and everything's a go," Erin told News Center 7's Sean Cudahy on Wednesday night.

"It's very stressful," said Sinkfield, a health care worker. "We already are stressed trying to work in health care to be there for our patients…and to now try to find child care for our children at a moment's notice is very stressful."

Julie Thorner, Mini U. president, said in a Facebook post that state mandated changes to their operating model because of the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to keep the doors open.

"Tomorrow should have been our first day operating as a pandemic child care center," Thorner said in the Facebook post.

Last week, in response to closing K-12 schools and the increased demand for school age care, the state expanded ratios and committed to paying in full for anyone attending a pandemic child care center.

Providers were asked providers to apply for a new license when the state closed all other centers.

“We were excited to continue care for your children and support your family. We know this pandemic has also been stressful on all of you,” Thorner said in the post directed at all Mini U. clients.

This week, the state mandated group sizes of no more than six children to a room and "took back" their promise to pay, she said.

"We applied in part because the state committed to pay for every essential family using a pandemic center," Thorner said.

Tuesday night, she said, the state confirmed it will not pay any of these increased costs.

"Mini U. committed to paying our hourly staff ‘time and a half’ to show them the respect they deserve for working during this crisis. This has been very stressful for many of our teachers who have worried about the ‘stay-at-home’ message each day from our Governor and the ‘come to work’ message from Mini U.," Thorner said.

The Sinkfields have a grandparent on the way to help, but they said their stress is still high.

"You typically would look toward your family and your parents but your parents are the age right now who you don't want to be caring for your kids exposed."

Mini U. did pass along to its client families a list of other possible pandemic child care facilities.